Stormheim is easily my least favored zone – by many reasons.
First, it’s the plot. We open up with a stunning scenario, a brutal clash between Horde and Alliance, we are absolutely ready to rip the throats of the Worgen or the Undead with our bare hands, and we do, and then there’s aftermath, all settles down.
What I’m trying to say is that you’re completely confused about where are you and what’s all the point of you being here. So you seek the pillar of creation… or you are put into test of valor and glory… wait, what? drogbar and tauren are also into vrykul rituals?.. oh, suddenly it’s some bad vrykul… why are they ‘bad’? All the vrykul in the zone are hostile… whatever… now we’re underground and we need to save the winged ghost girls… then we have to fight them in flesh – so apparently ghosts are good… ok, now it’s Legion we need to handle.. now, remind me why some storm dragons are good and others are bad? Wow, a completely unrelated cinematic.
What the fuck is going on?!
It’s just too many stories, which only seem to be intertwined, but they are very much confusing per se. The Alliance/Horde clash is suddenly forgotten for good after the scenario until the final cinematic which falls on you as suddenly as meeting an elephant in the open sea. You fail to say who is your enemy here. Helya? We got there by accident. Legion? It’s presence is pretty small. Vrykul? Which of them? There are many vrykul factions, and each of them is hostile to us. We just hopping the slopes like mountain goats all confused and engage in a fight every minute, with every stone and bush. Wildlife is hostile too, yes.
The zone itself is Autumn in the fjords, and the problem is with fjords. The logistics are the worst. It’s that zone where you would hearth out rather than find your way. Slopes, mountains, every flat spot is heavily populated by enemies. Also, the zone is pretty dark and depressing, especially when played at night time.
I will say the horrible thing now, but, frankly speaking, vikings are boring :) They have style and all, but even the orc culture, not unlike the vrykul one, is much richer and more interesting. So when you get a zone filled with viking stuff by 95%… Well, it’s not fun. You just get tired very quickly of all the honor, battle and trial talks. Like it was not enough, there’s two dungeons and a raid to overfill your glass.
Yet I found a pair of highlights here.
The first one is the amazon vrykul village, Skold Ashil. I could listen to their battle cries forever – all the ‘Protect the temple!’ and ‘The battle is upon us, sisters!’. Their voices, it is something. Like it’s not enough, they are the most beautiful females among all WoW races (first noticed in Northrend). And the haircuts are badass as hell.
The second one is the stunning voice performance by Jim Cummings. His Havi is putting you into a trance. As long as he’s with us for most of the story, you’re just enchanted with his mesmerizing guidance and don’t think much about what actually is going on, where and why he’s driving you :) And all his small camp activities – frying a fish, cooking a soup, drinking and chopping a moose. Too nice.
- Storyline: 2/5
- Safe Hubs/Spots: 3/5
- Visuals: 3/5
- Travel Comfort: 1/5
- Bonus points: Skold Ashil, the shieldmaidens, Havi